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Multiple diesels and DCC

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Multiple diesels and DCC
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, August 07, 2001 5:17 PM
What is the best way to run 2+ diesels on the head of a train using DCC? Before I switch, I want to make sure I'm not going to shoot myself in the foot....
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Posted by greendiamond on Monday, August 13, 2001 2:39 PM
DCC has several different ways to consist. Two types are Basic and Advanced (Universal). Basic consisting comprises of programming the locomotives you want to run together to the same address. The other basic type allows you to let the locomotives keep their addresses and provide an additional consist address. Different companies handle this in different manners.

Mike Tyl
Green Diamond Hobbies
greendiamond@msn.com
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, August 15, 2001 4:18 PM
This is one of those areas where there is no "best" way, just several options. As the previous post indicated there are two main ways, "Basic" and "Advanced". Just to give you some more information...

Basic Consisting: This is what you will get with many less expensive systems. Each loco will only have a 2-digit address. Let's say you have 4-locos. Under Basic Consisting, all four locos will be programmed to the same address, let's say (10). You must have all locos facing the same way (elephant style) as "forward" is always forward. All locos will respond to any command as one. You can run locos tail to tail only if you re-program on of them to always run in reverse (this is easy to do by changing one CV value). If you break-up the consist, the locos left out must be re-programmed to different addresses, or they will still respond.

Advanced Consisting: This comes with higher priced systems. Usually the system will accept 4-digit addresses. Each loco will have it's own address, and you simply tell the system that these four are in a consist. You can also run tail to tail without having to re-program the loco decoder. It makes it a lot easier to make-up and break-up consists.

Before you buy a system, decide if the advanced consisting is a feature you are willing to pay for. You may be able to get into a smaller "starter" system, get the feel of DCC, then expand into the more advanced systems.

MOPAC 1
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, September 06, 2001 10:42 PM
Currently I'm workng long hours, 7-days per week. This forum is my best and fastest way of gathering information. I realize that I could search around the various company sites within their FAQ sections and search for answers to my questions. But, why? This site allow s me to get quick, non-sales pitch answers from others who have learned from personal experience. That being said, does the Digitrax DCC or Atlas DCC systems offer advanced consisting. This will be an important feature to me (and the club I'm in) when I look into converting to DCC. Cost is also a concern. I'd rather not pay thousands of dollars for this stuff. I've priced the Digitrax systems (with radio control) and they seem to go for around $600-700 (with one controller; additional controllers would be extra. Atlas seems to cost a little less. Sound is not of major importance to me at this time, but accurate directional lighting on the locomotives would be, as well as the abilitiy to run several consist trains simultaneously.

Mike
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, September 06, 2001 11:59 PM
You asked for advice, so here it is: Start small!

One of the fastest ways to kill interest in this hobby is to jump in with both feet, spend big bucks on a product, then find out you don't understand it as well as you though.

I would recommend the Digitrax "Genesis" system as a good starter system. It comes complete with one throttle and one decoder. It only handles 2-digit addressing, but it has smaller start-up costs. Use it to learn all about DCC. I've had my system for 3-years now, and I'm still learning.

Then you can spend a small amount to get the DT100IR throttle, and instantly get 4-digit addressing, plus you now have the original DT-2 throttle as a back-up (you will need one).

Once you've mastered advanced consisting and speed curves, you can go for the IR or radio throttles. This allows you to make small purchases, with less of a learning curve.

Digitrax has also shown at the National Show in St. Louis, an adapter cable and software disk that can turn your palm pilot into a full-features Digitrax throttle!

The Atlas (Lenz) system seems less capable right now, but is growing fast. You may be better off with the full-blown Lenz system rather than the Atlas copy. MOPAC 1
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Posted by cmrproducts on Friday, September 07, 2001 8:24 AM
Mike

Digitrax will do adv consisting. The radio system is the top of the line but one thing is you won't have to upgrade it as time goes on and your experience grows. I will have to admit that the owners manuals leave a lot to be desired. I am still learning but now when I have a problem I am only looking a one small thing and not a whole bunch at one time. There are several DCC specific on line forums which will answer your questions. The Digitrax forum on Yahoo groups has over 2000 members and they have helped me a lot and I have never posted to the group. It seems that every time I have a question some else would be asking at the same time. They also have a problem log that can be downloaded and is a handy reference to those little problems that always seem to happen to the new DCC owner. You might want to look into that!

The new Chief 2 system has a much simpler DT300R throttle which has a 3 line dislpay that gives more info on what is happening. They also have the DT400R whick looks like a TV remote but does all steps as a single button instead of multiple keys. This speeds up the learning process. I have had my system for 3 years and love it.

BOB H Clarion, PA
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, September 07, 2001 7:12 PM
I consider my self fairly good with computers and all, but have had much difficulty (in the past) finding stuff on Yahoo. Could you give me a specific link to get to the DCC forum(s) on Yahoo. I am not only researching DCC info (basic and advanced) for myself, but also for the club I belong to. This way I can get them more info than (maybe) they need, but definately not less than they need. I'm postive that I and the club will want to go to radio control and at least 4-5 radios, at that. One BIG PLUS we can see with DCC is that more members can "play" with the trains at one time. Currently, only two can "play". plus one can play in the main yard setting up freight cars for various load hauls. Then, one or two can "play" at the main control board (controlling main line switches and blocks and keeping the two main train operators informed via radio communications) which will be even more involved with DCC (the control board operators/dispatchers will have to be aware of possible 'head-ons' and other realsitic crisis that could come up). The rest of the membes can only stand around and watch. Let's faceit. We all enjoy building layouts with all the detailing (though they take years to complete and sometimes never get completed) and detailing our prize locomotive and rolling stock fleets. But, we still want to "play" (run our trains). They are not static models, though we may stop them on the layout here and there for 'scenic' photo shots (and I do a lot of that on quite days/nights). We are all really just big kids with expensive toys. As the old adage goes "The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys". DCC allows all members to participate (or at least a much greater number) at the same time, not to memtion the greater realism afforded by it. I don't even own a DCC system and have only seen a small one work once, but from what I've learned through research and folks like yourself...I'm sold. The President of our club is also sold. But like anything, it's best top 'over research' than to 'jump in with little knowledge' only to find unexpected rocks just below the surface.

thanks for all the information

Mike
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Posted by cmrproducts on Monday, September 10, 2001 8:40 AM
Mike

The address to the Yahoo Digitrax site.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/digitrax
I hope this works.

Digitrax just announced a new beginner system which will compete directly with Altas system. It will address 4 digits and can be upgraded as needed to the bigger Digitrax systems. List is about $200.00. So this may be something to check out.

BOB H Clarion, PA

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